During a Facebook Live event in December, Mark Zuckerberg indicated that more support for animated GIFs would be coming to the social network, this time within the comment thread. VentureBeat has learned that on Monday, the company will begin testing this feature out to a “small percentage” of people, thereby making it easier to be equally as expressive in your response as you are with posting.
A Facebook spokesperson shared this statement: “Everyone loves a good GIF and we know that people want to be able to use them in comments. So we’re about to start testing the ability to add GIFs to comments and we’ll share more when we can, but for now we repeat that this is just a test.”
Adding support for GIFs in comments probably isn’t going to be a shocking thing for people. It’s likely that there’s going to be a button to insert a photo or a sticker to add your favorite meme into a message thread. While Facebook didn’t cite any partners, it’s possible that the company is leveraging the extensive GIF libraries of the major providers on the internet: Giphy and Tenor. These two are usually involved in any GIF-related feature on any product, be it iMessage, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, or Twitter.
Testing on this new feature will last for an undetermined period of time, but perhaps the goal is to see whether users would actually insert GIFs into comments. Currently, if you want to respond using a GIF, you’d have to go to Giphy, Tenor, Imgur, or some other image library, copy the URL, and paste it into a thread. It works, but it’s not native or easy. This might cause more people to just post a reaction rather than a GIF.
GIFs come in handy because sometimes we just don’t know what to say to a poster. So why not use a cat meme to break the tension or say “Bye Felicia” to a hater, or plug in any other hilarious but suitable GIF to get your message across?